Lectures of Opportunity: "Science Fiction or Political Reality: Considering the Global Geopolitics of Geoengineering"

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Monday, December 05, 2022
12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
U.S. Naval War College, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI 02841

U.S. Naval War College, LOO Coordinator

This event is for U.S. Naval War College students, faculty and staff.

Science Fiction or Political Reality: Considering the Global Geopolitics of Geoengineering

Climate change and unabated greenhouse gas emissions are increasing the likelihood that humanity could turn to intentional climate interventions (a.k.a. geoengineering) that are designed to reduce global temperatures. The science behind climate intervention technologies has long assumed that such an ambitious effort would require global coordination of many countries, all orchestrated by some central authority such as the United Nations. However, with geopolitical tensions rising and the estimated costs of climate intervention falling, it is now more likely than ever that a state acting alone could unilaterally change the global climate.

This Lecture of Opportunity will discuss the latest science of climate intervention, the budget and military capabilities a state would need to attempt this, and the national characteristics and geopolitical conditions that would make a country more or less likely to do this alone. The presentation will reveal that stratospheric aerosol injection---spraying small particles into the stratosphere to bounce solar radiation back into space---is now feasible and well within the budgets of dozens of states who might want to do this alone. It also considers the potential effects: improved conditions for some parts of the globe, at the steep cost of worse weather for other regions. The presenters hope to end the lecture with an open discussion of the ethical and geopolitical implications of plausible single-country climate intervention scenarios.

About this Lecture

Lectures of Opportunity offers U.S. Naval War College (NWC) students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to learn more about national and international socio-political subjects that may be of relevance to the NWC community.

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